Ray C. Fish (1902-1962) was a leading figure in Houston's natural gas industry and a philanthropist. He believed in the American dream of “opportunity for success.” The Ray C. Fish Foundation was established so that others might be encouraged to broaden man's self-knowledge and to keep the American dream alive. After its founder's death from heart disease, the Fish Foundation granted $5 million (equivalent to $37 million today) to make The Texas Heart Institute a reality. For this reason, the Institute's highest professional award is given in honor of this extraordinary man. The award recognizes those whose innovations have made significant contributions to cardiovascular medicine and surgery.

The Texas Heart Institute and Ray C. Fish Award for Scientific Achievement in Cardiovascular Disease were first presented in 1972 to Dr Norman Shumway. Since 1972, 41 other highly deserving recipients have been so honored by the Institute. The complete Roll of Recipients appears on the next page.

The recipient of the 2024 Ray C. Fish Award is Gary Sidney Samuel Roubin, MD, PhD. Born and educated in eastern Australia, Dr Roubin is now an interventional cardiology consultant in Jackson, Wyoming. Dr Roubin is known for his pioneering work in coronary and carotid artery stenting, including developing the first coronary artery stent to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He was later awarded an MD degree from the University of Queensland for his body of scientific work and publications on the development of coronary artery stenting.

Growing up in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Dr Roubin was initially interested in animal health and food safety, so he earned a bachelor of veterinary science degree from the University of Queensland. After working in this field for a few years, he developed an interest in human medicine and returned to the University of Queensland to earn an MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) degree. He spent the next several years as a medical officer and training in and then teaching cardiology at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. In 1985, he earned a PhD from the University of Sydney for his dissertation, titled The Hemodynamic and Metabolic Basis of Impaired Exercise Tolerance in Heart Disease.

The next year, Dr Roubin came to the United States to work with Andreas Gruentzig, who had performed the first successful balloon angioplasty, at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Dr Roubin then moved on to become director of the catheterization laboratory and a professor of medicine at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. In 1997, he became chief of Cardiovascular Services at Lennox Hill hospital and served as chair of Cardiovascular Medicine there from 2003 to 2012.

Dr Roubin and his team performed more than 3000 carotid procedures. In introducing Dr Roubin at The Institute's Grand Rounds, where Dr Roubin gave a presentation titled “Carotid Stenting: State of the Art,” Institute President and CEO Dr Joseph Rogers described Dr Roubin as “an internationally renowned interventional cardiologist recognized for his groundbreaking work in the development of coronary and carotid artery stenting, and the first FDA-approved coronary artery stent. Over the past four decades, Dr Roubin's spirit of innovation and pioneering research has changed the lives of patients with atherosclerotic vascular disease across the globe.” Dr Rogers also stated that “an aspect of Dr Roubin's career that I admire most is his ability as an astute clinician to couple his clinical expertise with rigorous scientific inquiry to develop solutions to vexing clinical problems or conditions.” This approach to his work, Dr Rogers said, was what enabled Dr Roubin to develop and clinically launch the first balloon-expandable coronary stent as well as carotid stenting, embolic protection devices, and largebore arterial closure devices.

Roll of Recipients of The Texas Heart Institute and the Ray C. Fish Award for Scientific Achievement in Cardiovascular Disease

  • 2024 Gary Sidney Samuel Roubin

    Interventional Cardiology (Recognized for his pioneering work in coronary artery and carotid stenting. He is also acknowledged for the development of the first FDA-approved coronary stent.)

  • 2023 Tirone E. David

    Cardiovascular Surgery (World-renowned for pioneering surgical innovation and procedures to treat patients with heart valve disease, complications of myocardial infarction, and diseases of the thoracic aorta.)

  • 2020 Christine E. Seidman

    Cardiovascular Genetics (Research in molecular mechanisms of cardiomyopathy and other heart diseases)

  • 2019 Emerson C. Perin

    Interventional Cardiology (Research in regenerative medicine and stem cells and development of novel stem cell treatments for patients)

  • 2018 Joseph S. Coselli

    Cardiovascular Surgery (Knowledge of and exceptional technical expertise in thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair)

  • 2016 David A. Ott

    Cardiovascular Surgery (Knowledge of and exceptional technical expertise in cardiovascular surgery)

  • 2015 Delos M. Cosgrove

    Cardiovascular Surgery (Significant contributions to cardiac valve repair)

  • 2014 Terence English

    Cardiovascular Surgery (Establishing the heart transplantation program in England)

  • 2013 Alain G. Cribier

    Interventional Cardiology (First balloon dilation of an aortic valve for calcific aortic stenosis, 1985; first implantation of a prosthetic aortic valve via cardiac catheterization, 2002)

  • 2012 George J. Reul

    Cardiac and Vascular Surgery (Development of an accredited vascular lab at St Luke's Episcopal Health System; leader in quality measures)

  • 2011 Patrick W. Serruys

    Interventional Cardiology (Major contributions to interventional cardiology, including those to the development of both bare-metal and drug-eluting stents)

  • 2010 Charles D. Fraser, Jr

    Cardiovascular Surgery (Development of a program known for its effectiveness in correcting congenital cardiovascular disease in children)

  • 2009 James T. Willerson

    Cardiology (Pioneering work in unstable atherosclerotic plaques, acute coronary syndromes, and cardiac stem cells)

  • 2008 O. H. Frazier

    Cardiovascular Surgery (Heart transplantation as well as research and development of the left ventricular assist device)

  • 2007 Charles E. Mullins

    Pediatric Cardiology (Teaching and pioneering work in interventional techniques for congenital heart disease)

  • 2004 Stephen Westaby

    Cardiovascular Surgery (First clinical trial of axial-flow devices for destination therapy and significant contributions to the surgical literature)

  • 2004 James L. Cox

    Cardiovascular Surgery (Surgery for atrial fibrillation)

  • 1999 Thomas J. Fogarty

    Cardiovascular Surgery (Medical and surgical devices)

  • 1998 Magdi Yacoub

    Cardiovascular Surgery (Heart-lung transplantation)

  • 1997 Julio C. Palmaz

    Radiology (Endovascular stents)

  • 1997 Aldo R. Castañeda

    Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery

  • 1992 Arthur S. Keats

    Cardiovascular Anesthesiology

  • 1990 Sol Sherry

    Cardiology (Thrombolytic therapy)

  • 1989 Robert J. Hall

    Cardiology (Clinical practice and teaching)

  • 1988 J. Willis Hurst

    Cardiology (Writing and teaching)

  • 1987 Dwight E. Harken

    Cardiovascular Surgery (Intracardiac surgery)

  • 1986 William J. Rashkind

    Pediatric Cardiology (Nonsurgical treatment of congenital heart disease)

  • 1985 Denton A. Cooley

    Cardiovascular Surgery (Surgery for congenital heart disease, aneurysms of the aorta, and implantation of the artificial heart)

  • 1984 Hein J. J. Wellens and Douglas P. Zipes (co-recipients)

    Cardiology (Diagnosis and management of pediatric cardiac arrhythmias)

  • 1983 Andreas R. Gruentzig

    Cardiology (Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty)

  • 1981 Paul M. Zoll

    Cardiology (Pacemaking)

  • 1980 W. Proctor Harvey

    Cardiology (Clinical practice and teaching)

  • 1979 John J. Gallagher and William C. Sealy (co-recipients)

    Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery (Surgery for preexcitation)

  • 1978 Bernard Lown

    Cardiology (Cardiac arrhythmias)

  • 1977 John W. Kirklin

    Cardiovascular Surgery (Heart-lung machines)

  • 1976 Harvey Feigenbaum

    Cardiology (Echocardiography)

  • 1975 Willem J. Kolff

    Cardiovascular Surgery (Artificial organs)

  • 1974 Eugene E. Braunwald

    Physiology (Myocardial preservation)

  • 1973 F. Mason Sones, Jr

    Cardiology (Coronary angiography)

  • 1972 Norman E. Shumway

    Cardiovascular Surgery (Heart transplantation)

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